Jane, an avid gardener’s favourite flowers are lilies. She wants to transplant a lily flower from a friend’s garden but receives the shock of her life when she sees the length of the root of this lily flower. How can this be? Let’s discover how this is possible in our study today. We would be looking at Hosea 14
In this study, the tools we would use for this study are
- Who, What, When, Where, and How tool
- What does it mean?
- How does it apply to me today?
So let’s dig in and turn the bible to Hosea 14
Who, What, When, Where, and How tool
Israel is charged to return to God. As she had lost her footing with God and what she was experiencing was due to her iniquity
Israel is charged to go back to God in repentance. Asking God to receive her not on her words only but on God’s graciousness. “Grace is undeserved favour”
Israel affirms that Assyria and idols couldn’t save them. But they see God as a merciful God and now look to Him for salvation.
God’s response to heal Israel’s backsliding
He will turn anger away from Israel
He will restore their relationship back to Himself
The relationship will be outwardly like the lily and inwardly like the roots of the cedar of Lebanon. With branches and beauty like an olive tree and fragrance like Lebanon
Israel shall be revived again
Ephraim shall say They will have nothing to do with idols. God’s fruit is found in Ephraim
The wise and prudent understand these things – that the ways of the LORD are right. The righteous walk in them but the transgressors stumble in them
What does (this passage ) mean?
Israel is charged to go back to God in repentance. Asking God to receive her not on her words only but on God’s graciousness. “Grace is undeserved favour”. Israel does 180 degrees. She repents and turns from her sin and idol worshiping. She entreats God to take her back not on the grounds of her repentance only but on God’s graciousness. God’s grace which is the favour that Israel did not merit.
God restores the relationship Israel has with Him.
The roots of the cedar of Lebanon go deep into the soil, It is not visible but it holds the trees. The restoration is not a superficial one but one that is deep.
The beauty of the restoration can be seen like that of the lily flower, its beauty and fragrance
The restored relationship is fruitful, The fruits are those of righteous living.
Ephraim influence will now be that of righteous fruits that comes from the restored relationship with God.
How does it apply to me today?
Repentance has 2 strands, the forgiveness and the restoration. A turning away from sin and a turning towards God and His ways. God’s grace is available. God longs to be gracious but an individual , you and I must first turn away from sin. By our confession and actions. We must turn to God’s way. When God forgives and restores it is not because we merited His grace because repentance already said we were not meeting the mark of righteousness but God in His mercy forgives and restores us back to Himself.
We must do the turning away from sin and turn back to God.
We can’t say we repent of something and still keep doing the thing we have repented from. There is an acknowledgement of our sin, the apologising for them, then a commitment not to sin again and a turning to God
There is a depth and breath of this restoration. The depth speaks to the internal workings of a relationship. God likened the depth of Israel relations to the roots of the Cedar in Lebanon. There would be a depth to this relationship. It would not be a superficial relation. Where the heart and mouth are misaligned.
God is calling to a depth of relationship with Him that goes beyond our lips. But one that calls to the deep of knowing God for who He is. This depth of relationship is done on the inside but we will see the result on the outside as well. Like the fragrance of the olive tree and like the beauty of the Lily.
When I contrast the root of the lily flower which is only 12-15 inches (30-37 cm) to the root of the cedar in Lebanon which is about 6 to 8 feet. You can infer that the internal work that needs to be done in our relationship with God is paramount. If we focus on this, the beauty that shines on the exterior would be inevitable.
Beauty of restoration in the passages shows the inward depth of restoration and the outward external beauty that is visible from a restoration that happens from deep within. How then do we increase the depth of our relationship with God?
It’s like trying to know someone, we need to spend time with God to build this depth in our relationship with Him. Time in personal prayer. Time in personal study of His word. Time in listening to what God has to say, not just just us doing all the talking. Time in discovering and learning the ways of God. Time to know Him beyond the gifts He bestows on us. Time to know I AM that I AM.
Hosea 14 reminds us, to follow the ways of God is to be wise and prudent.
This completes our study of the book of Hosea. This study has so mirrored the generation we live in. It has also shown the great mercy of God. Let’s tap into God’s graciousness and align our lives after His righteous ways. Lets increase the depth of our relationship with God.